Police clash with students in Athens

Riot police secure the US Embassy in Athens, November 17, 2011.
Greek security forces have clashed with protesters who were marching on the US embassy in Athens to mark the anniversary of a bloody 1973 student uprising which helped topple a US-backed army dictatorship in Greece.

The Thursday demonstration was swelled in numbers as many joined the rally to protest against unpopular austerity measures, aimed at saving the country from its debt crisis, Reuters reported.

More than 30,000 people marched in central Athens beating drums, waving red flags and chanting “EU, IMF out!” in the first test of public defiance against technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papdemos’s new government.

Earlier around 7,000 policemen were deployed in Athens amid fears that the demonstration may turn violent

The demonstration come a day after Greece new interim government won a vote of confidence in a parliament.

Greece is in the midst of a debt crisis that is threatening the whole eurozone. The new interim government must ratify a bailout deal in three months to avoid a default and remain in the bloc.

The European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have presented Greece with two rescue packages in return for specific austerity measures, which include the cutting of public sector salaries and pensions, increasing taxes and overhauling the pension system. The suggestion of these measures has sparked nationwide protests in Greece.

(gazaconvoy.wordpress.com / 17.11.2011)

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